Homemade x-ray inspector reveals PCB secrets

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John McMaster has written an article detailing his homemade x-ray scanner:

In some previous posts I talked about getting an x-ray head working, reverse engineering an x-ray sensor, and working with LinuxCNC. In this post I put them all together so that I can take a bunch of x-ray snapshots across an entire PCB. This allows me to more quickly reverse engineer PCBs.

Homemade x-ray inspector reveals PCB secrets – [Link]

RELATED POSTS

Simple and small temperature fan control

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Xristost published a new project, a simple and small temperature fan control:

I published this schematic long ago in this article: Adjustable power supply and since then I made some improvements in PCB to make the board as small as possible. The idea is to be easy to attach the whole board to the heat sink which we want to monitor. The board is only 27mm x 27m

Simple and small temperature fan control – [Link]

Toshiba launches 256-Gbit 48-layer 3-D NAND flash

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by Susan Nordyk @ edn.com:

Ready for sampling in September, Toshiba’s 48-layer BiCS (Bit Cost Scalable) flash memory stores 256 Gbits using a 3-D vertically stacked cell structure and 3-bit-per-cell triple-level cell technology. By employing this 48-layer vertical stacking process, BiCS flash surpasses the capacity of conventional 2-D NAND flash memory, where cells are arrayed in a planar direction on a silicon plane.

BiCS also enhances write/erase reliability endurance and boosts write speeds. The 256-Gbit (32-Gbyte) device can be used in a myriad of applications, including consumer solid-state drives, smart phones, tablets, memory cards, and enterprise SSDs for data centers.

Toshiba launches 256-Gbit 48-layer 3-D NAND flash – [Link]

Wireless Nixie Thermometer

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by christian.ich.7 @ instructables.com:

The Target of this Project was to learn how to use different functions of the atmega:

• Connecting two Atmegas with a wireless connection
• Each Atmega has a Thermometer (DS1621) to read the actual temperature
• Use the sleep Mode of an Atmega
• Controlling a Nixie bargraph In-13

Wireless Nixie Thermometer – [Link]

Arduino Chess Clock

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by benhur.goncalves @ instructables.com:

Hey folks! After making an Arduino smartwatch just last week, I received many complaints,or tips, to use a RTC (real-time clock) module. That’s because the Arduino timer is not very precise, it can lose a couple a minutes along a full work day. Luckly, I had one of those modules at my home, I decided to give it a try. However, I faced some challenges along the way, as I can show you here.

Arduino Chess Clock – [Link]

RELATED POSTS

Design & simulate in the clouds

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by Michael Dunn @ edn.com:

It was a few years ago that I first heard of a free site where you could draw and simulate designs. “What’s the point?” I thought. But, the idea is taking off. Was I wrong?

I questioned the usefulness of this cloud concept because there had already long existed good, free circuit simulators. A quick download, and off you go, drawing and simulating. Why deal with the extra vagaries of service-provider availability, and of course, Internet access?

Well, as with any other cloud-based service, there are advantages, such as being able to work anywhere, on any supported device, and not having to deal with the software directly. And while the services out there now seem mostly suited to exploration, hobby, and simple prototype use, they will keep getting better. Some are arguably already professional grade.

Design & simulate in the clouds – [Link]

Supercap energy density rivals batteries

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by Martin Cooke @ elektormagazine.com:

A novel design of supercapacitor using a hybrid silica sol-gel material and self-assembled monolayers of a common fatty acid has been developed by researchers working at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The device is said to provide an electrical energy storage capacity rivaling certain batteries, with both a high energy density and high power density.

The new material is composed of a silica sol-gel thin film containing polar groups linked to the silicon atoms and a nanoscale self-assembled monolayer of an octylphosphonic acid, which provides the insulating properties. The bilayer structure blocks the injection of electrons into the sol-gel material, providing low leakage current, high breakdown strength and high energy extraction efficiency.

Supercap energy density rivals batteries – [Link]

Teardown, Repair & Analysis of a Rohde & Schwarz FSH3 3.0GHz Portable Spectrum Analyzer

In this episode Shahriar examines a faulty R&S FSH3 100kHz – 3.0GHz Portable Spectrum Analyzer. This exceptionally dirty unit does not power on and is missing a power supply and battery. After verifying the correct operation of the battery charger circuit and keypad the problem is traces to a damaged SOT-23-6 MOSFET device which is part of a fly-back DC-DC converter. A replacement MOSFET with a lower current rating proves to be a failure as the device fails on startup. A higher rated MOSFET resolves the problem and device begins to operate correctly.
The block diagram of the system as well as a detailed block diagram of the RF section is presented and correlated with the teardown of the RF section. The super-heterodyne down-conversion circuits and components are examined.

Teardown, Repair & Analysis of a Rohde & Schwarz FSH3 3.0GHz Portable Spectrum Analyzer – [Link]

EEVblog #777 – Keithley 177 Microvolt DMM Repair

Come on a ride as Dave repairs an intermittent Keithley 177 Microvolt DMM, garden paths and all.

EEVblog #777 – Keithley 177 Microvolt DMM Repair – [Link]

Visualizing RF Standing Waves on Transmission Lines

This video illustrates how RF (radio frequency) standing waves are created in transmission lines – through the addition of the forward (transmitted) wave and the reflected wave that results from improperly terminating the line or matching the load or antenna to the transmission line impedance. I have done several videos that relate to transmission lines, terminations and reflections – all of which tell a piece of the story. This video is another piece, and I hope it helps you to understand how standing waves are formed and what the “look” like.

Visualizing RF Standing Waves on Transmission Lines – [Link]